Solarbabies (1986) Poster

(1986)

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7/10
Possibly the worst movie ever made, in a good way.
AllstonRockCity17 May 2009
This film is a riot. It's badness is epic. It is hard to know where to begin in terms of describing the experience of Solarbabies, but one could start by saying that a central episode involves a chase scene of children dramatically escaping from a futuristic special-forces police force by ROLLER SKATING through the DESERT. I am not making this up.

The completely random plot and incredulously goofy bonding/friendship scenes between the child-prisoners and their glowing-ball alien friend could only have been the product of coked-out brainstorming sessions of Hollywood types in the 80s.

Are children lovable prisoners of a Nazi-Fetish, post-apocalyptic corporation/government agency that inexplicably decides to profit by running a child-labor camp in the desert? Check. Are the children also forced to play an arena sport involving roller skates? Check. Does a glowing alien ball appear randomly and befriend the children, with no apparent connection to anything else in the film? Check. Do the children breakdance with the glowing alien ball-friend? Check. Does the glowing alien ball require the children to escape the prison and go on a quest? Yep. Do the children "escape" simply by roller-skating away from the "prison" (through a desert)? Um, yes. Does the glowing alien ball-friend require the children to join hands in a ritualized new-age circle of friendship/love in order to achieve its full glowing alien ball powers? You betcha.

If this movie were any better, I would give it one star. But it charges so far past the normal constraints of the badness boundaries that it comes out on the other side and emerges as something that is actually pretty entertaining and fairly compelling. The bar starts out low, but the filmmakers just keep on lowering it, going way past the zero point, and actually discovering new ways to make a bad movie worse. It is like art in reverse.
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10/10
Rollerskating orphans vs fascist government
sqwrll5 January 2007
If you don't love cheesy scifi....are too cool and all, don't bother. I mean it. But if magic alien spheres, weird roller sports, tiretown, and eco warriors make you happy, than this is your movie. It has a subtle beauty. 80s madness at its best. From the misunderstood tribal kid who calls birds to the cool mascot hearing impaired kid, its just, well its just....just see it. The hair and music alone are worth it, even if you do not realize how awesome the story is. Check out the cut offs. The only conceivable reason this movie is not in any hall of fame is because there is no award for Best Cheesy Sci Fi, or ...people just suck. Givin that, I am sure there IS an award somewhere. So do not deny yourself the futuristic bad news bears on skates. Why, afraid you may pull out those old hot pink wheeled roller-skates you know you have? Afraid you may try to save the world in a spray painted tank top? I know I am.
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9/10
One of my favorites when I was a kid!
pummykin9 October 2003
My dad had a strange habit of taping all 48 hours of the free HBO

weekends when I was a kid. Fortunately for me, that's how I found

some of my favorite films! When I'd stay home from school with

the flu, I'd sift through the tapes and watch whatever caught my

eye. After I saw this one, it became my regular "sick day" film and

one I'd watch any time I was just hanging around on a rainy

afternoon. I remember I loved it because it was about kids doing

something about their problems and making the situation better -

heck, they saved the world! That's the kind of film every kid likes!
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7/10
Oh come on, haters!
crownofsprats11 April 2013
OK, firstly, you are watching (or about to watch) a movie called 'Solarbabies'. If that doesn't deter you, then you are probably at least semi-aware of what you are getting yourself into, and why. Meaning: if you are not a connoisseur of badly-aged cheese, you probably shouldn't be here.

As far as C-grade postapocalyptic movies from the 80s are concerned, this is one of the weirder ones, but very entertaining if you are into that sort of thing. The movie is for a younger audience, so no T&A or gratuitous blood & gore. However, its most audacious gamble is the way it channels postapocalyptic fascism, oppression, torture, truncheon violence (of note is the amazing Orwell-style "indoctrination" scene), and sexual desire through the prism of roller-skating, packaging it to the unsuspecting bunch of tweens & teens whose parents didn't allow them to see Mad Max when it came out.

So yeah! This group of orphans calling themselves Solarbabies basically just wants to play a futuristic combination of roller hockey and lacrosse all the time, but they are jailed up in a postapocalyptic concentration camp/police academy for 'orphans', with a heavy roller- blading component. (They can sneak out, though - the rules are pretty lax, since they are in the middle of a desert wasteland and water is scarce.) If you are sufficiently cruel, you get to join the ranks of the E-Police. If you aren't E-Police material, you are probably going to end up a hard laborer (presumably on rollerblades as well), or worse yet, be sent in for 'surgical alteration'. Anyway, one of the Solarbabies finds a magical orb in a cave and befriends it. Of course, the E-Police hate the orb and wish to destroy it. There's also a guy that befriends crows and stuff...roll film!

AWESOME: the locations (filmed in Spain, the sets give the scenery the expanse it needs to work); the level of heavy-handed oppression, courtesy of the head E-Police chief and his weird update on the Nazi commandant uniform; great chase-and-destroy scenes with armored vehicles and two shantytowns; the sexual innuendos; lasers; finally, the torture scene!! Remember, you are watching a children's movie about a magical glowing orb that befriends some orphans.

LAME: the glowing orb; the feelings of good cheer the children experience when hanging out and playing roller hockey with the orb (by that, I mean they use the sentient orb as a puck); the eco-hippy stuff; the lame attempt to make this into a metaphor for growing up confused and trying to find your place in a vast and soulless world; the lack of more oppression and truncheons in the film.

LACKING: T&A, David Carradine
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Its problems go beyond its awful title
Wizard-89 March 2010
"Solarbabies" apparently wasn't given much of a theatrical release by MGM. After seeing the movie, I can understand why they apparently decided to cut their losses. To be fair, the outdoor locations are pretty eye-catching (the movie was shot in Spain), and the sets look like some serious money and time was spent on their construction. But aside from those things, there's not much more praiseworthy to bring up. The movie is really confusing at times, with several plot points brought up so suddenly in the narrative that I'm pretty confident I'm correct in thinking the movie was severely cut in the editing room, taking away the introduction and explanation to these plot points. Despite this editing, there are still plenty of ridiculous things to be found in the movie, like the youths getting around in this post-apocalypse world on roller-skates. But most of these ridiculous things are just mildly amusing, not insane enough to make this worth seeing on a camp level. Will anyone like it? Well, I have an idea that (very young) kids - especially kids who have not seem many better fantasy movies - might get some enjoyment out of it, but I'm sure they'll still question a lot of the movie's incoherent moments.
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4/10
"I can't believe that I'm standing here talking to a ball."
utgard1426 October 2016
Silly nonsense about a post-apocalyptic future where it doesn't rain and the kids are raised in a prison. There they play a game that's kind of a kids' version of Rollerball and wait to grow up and become guards or something for the corporation running the world. They find a glowing alien ball called Bohdai and uninteresting stuff happens. Laughable to the extreme, with ugly-looking '80s costumes and an odd fascination with rollerskating. It's unintentionally funny at times, and I totally give it points for that, but ultimately it's just embarrassing for all involved. See it for Jami Gertz, because you should see anything with Jami Gertz.
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9/10
This is one of my favorite movies of all time!
chellemckay5 January 2006
OK, it is definitely dated looking, but so is Real Genius, which is my all time favorite. It's not like it's Howard The Duck or something! I love cheesy 80's movies, and this is one for which I am waiting with baited breath to be released on DVD. I mean, look at Tron, total cheese, great movie!

Classics are sometimes classics because of their nostalgic value and what they offered at the time. This movie features some of the 80's biggest stars, not to mention a few who have continued with successful TV shows and film. Lukas Haas is so pickin' cute, and James LeGros is terrific as the bratty Metron.

Honestly, if someone saw Star Wars for the very first time nowadays, they would roll their eyes and walk out. Watch this with an open mind, and you'll enjoy it!
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5/10
The nostalgia goggles, they do nothing!
christian56222 November 2010
After about 20 years of having little more than vague memories of this movie rollerskating about in my head, I finally broke down and re-watched Solarbabies.

All I can say is, well, bless them for trying. It really isn't a BAD movie... it does manage to be entertaining even though it occasionally drags. The only problem is that it borrows a lot from other movies and never seems to decide on a style of its own.

Overall I didn't feel as drawn in to the story as I'd hoped, but despite the somewhat vague plot and generic characters, it was still good fun. And if nothing else, it teaches us that all we really need to set things right in the world are friendship and roller skating. And maybe a magic ball from outer space.
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7/10
Enjoyable and highly entertaining
Macholic9 February 2004
This one seems to be everyones pet hate for some reason, but it really doesn't deserve all that bad press. It is a more than decent sci-fi movie in Road Warrior territory. The rulers use water shortage to upress the masses but the magic ball Bodai and The Solarbabies on rollerskates take up the fight. Nice work by Lucas Haas and the beautiful Jamie Gertz, a highly underrated actress. High budget insures high productionvalues, this film both look and sounds good. 7/10
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Solid teenage movie
dmdb15 April 2016
I only write reviews of movies with low rating, which actually are not that bad. Give them a chance!

If you like apocalypse / post-apocalypse and you are aware that this is a teenage movie, I don't know why you wouldn't like it! It is really cool, story is good, they made an effort to create post-apocalyptic world and everything else works fine. Kids are not acting well, that I must admit, but they are kids... and pretty much all other 80s teenage movies have the same problem, but that does not mean Solarbabies should have 4.8 ( as in this moment ). It is a solid movie, and if you like apocalypse I am sure that you will like this one, too.

6/10
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6/10
Only the 1980's could have made a movie like this
flaskman314 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
What is it about this silly piece of 1980's scifi cheese that makes it so much fun to watch? "Solarbabies" (easily one of the worst titles in movie history) is unlike any movie you've ever seen before, if only because is has so much fun being so freaking bizarre.

The plot of the movie is basically irrelevant, a mishmash of every 80's scifi movie cliché imaginable - plus roller skates. A group of post-apocalyptic teenagers take on the fascist water-hoarders by, among other things, roller skating across the desert (honest to God!) and attacking the bad guys' superfortress with hockey sticks and a glowing bouncy ball. Think "Mad Max" meets "Starlight Express." Once you start watching, you'll be hooked. Probably a great movie to watch while wasted.
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3/10
*gets out laser stick and destroys film*
Jusenkyo_no_Pikachu19 February 2002
Man this was one stupid movie! Top Ten of a decade? How about Top Ten Stinkers of a decade?

So far, my favourite plot hole is the bit where Terra (Jami Gertz) goes missing and is then found out to be the daughter of the leader of the very organisation the "E-Protectorate" (the movie's main opposition) is trying to destroy. But the alien Bodhi getting broken and then getting totally rejuvenated comes a close second.

However, if you still want to watch this, I can't stop you. I myself have bought the video. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the worst movie ever released.
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2/10
Avoid it like Solar-rabies.
Skutter-230 April 2007
Solarbabies is a hilariously inept clunker from the eighties. Everything about the movie is either so dumb, puerile or ridiculous it is staggering at times. It basically involves a bunch of generic eighties teens roller-skating around a Mad Max style dystopian future chasing after a sentient glowing magical orb that can save the world. Words cannot express how ridiculous the sight of these dudes skating around the place in formation is. Or how ridiculous and hokey the scenes of them prancing around with the glowing ball of light are- the kind of scenes that would be too cringeworthy and schmaltzy even for a Disney movie. Or how painfully cheesy the synth heavy score is – it sounds like it belongs in a Care Bears movie and that it has been produced on a $10 Cassio. Or how nonsensical and threadbare the plot is- god knows what was meant to have happened at the very end of the movie or what the deal with Bodhai, the sentient glowing ball, was. It is kind of like they tried to combine E.T. with Mad Max but with more Roller-skates. That's not even mentioning the fact that two of our main characters, including the lead, are virtually indistinguishable. I wasn't sure how many members there were in the main group of teens for most of the movie- if it was one, two or three dudes I was getting mixed up. Nor is mentioning the goofy and superfluous quasi-American Indian character, the blatantly flaming leather clad prisoner warden, the embarrassed looking Charles Durning, the undeveloped subplot of the eco-warriors, the foggy motivations of the evil cooperation ruling the world, or the unfunny and inexplicable supporting roles of Alexi Sayle and Bruce Payne or… I could go on. Solarbabies is one long series of ultra cheesy cringeworthy eighties dreck. Recommended only for those with a high tolerance for that sort of thing.
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3/10
Wretched, almost funny piece of dreck
smokehill27 May 2000
Probably the only reason Mystery Science Theatre 3K hasn't done this one is because it's hardly necessary. Most viewers will automatically howl and add their own comments to this ghastly waste of film. Is this really a Mel Brooks production? If so, he truly should stick to intentional comedy, where he's great, and leave futuristic "message" films mercifully alone. Actually, this is good for a laugh some evening if you're among friends in the right mood. Perhaps a double-feature with an Ed Wood masterpiece?
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1/10
What were they thinking?
kerndtsr16 November 2009
How does someone actually sit down and write this? It was as going to be used as a torture device at Gitmo, but the CIA didn't want to violate the Geneva Convention on treatment of POW's. You would think Charles Durning would have enough sense to say "No thank you, I just ate". Why does every movie or TV show in the future have to involve a modern day sport getting screwed over? For goodness sake, find a freaking' football and toss it around. For a place with not a lot of water they sure make an effort to exert as much as possible. If I knew there was a lack of water, the most you would get out of me is scoring behind the building with a local girl.
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1/10
Total Suckfest
fishboy26617 March 2005
Giving this movie a 1 is generous, although there are worse movies out there, Battlefield Earth for example... Waste of time, money, and celluloid. Moronic, 1980s era post-apocalyptic future movie, but instead of Mel Gibson, you have the lost boys from "Hook" or "Goonies", preteen, teen and post-pubescent pretty white kids skate, skate, skate to FREEDOM!! Formulaic trash, whoever wrote this movie was either an idiot or had a brain tumor, if the latter is the case, my apologies. I'm sure they gave a reason for why the little brats continuously engaged in roller derby for their tyrannical overlords, but don't look for a reason that makes a lick of sense.
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1/10
BAD, VERY VERY VERY BAD
bucky-2719 March 1999
This movie sent me in hysterical laughter. A bunch of kids in a post nuke war desert where the government has all the water (hmm if there are no plants where is the air coming from???) find a glowing sphere and save the world. Has more plot holes then you can count. In the words of another equaly cheesy film "you will laugh, you will cry, you will puke, you die"
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Oh Baby.....Don't Make Me Watch.
tfrizzell1 November 2003
Totally stupid 1980s junk has a group of adolescents (Jason Patric, Jami Gertz and Lukas Haas among them) finding an orb of special powers in the post-apocalyptic future. They are really orphans (or prisoners) in a future that is run by evil people (Richard Jordan being the main villain here). Oh by the way the youngsters love to skate around and play hockey in the desert (no kidding). Silly and unnecessary venture for all involved. Still not as bad as some other similar movies of the period, but that is not saying much. 2 stars out of 5.
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Pretty good movie, even though a little corny
sansevieria21 November 2003
I have seen Solarbabies (aka Solar Warriors) many times, and I like it. I first saw it on video when I was seven or eight. Looking at it now, (I own a copy) the plot is a little corny, but when you consider that was pretty normal of movies made in the mid-80's, it's hard to hold that against this one.

For some reason, the "skateball" game that is popular with characters in the movie almost seems like a knock-off of Rollerball, but that's okay.

If nothing else, it had a terrific cast...Richard Jordan, Jami Gertz, Jason Patric, and Lukas Haas, among others. I'm not sure the movie would have been very good without them.

I would rate this movie 3 out of 5 on story and 4 out of 5 on casting. So about 3.5 stars...
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5/10
One of the worst films of all time, and I love it!
DaPhOoL10 January 2011
I remember when I first saw this film, I must have been about six years old (1990 or so), I thought this film was amazing at that time. I've since watched it several times as an adult and all I can do is laugh at every serious scene in this movie. This film is about a future in which roller skates apparently make a huge come back. All of the worlds water (or most of it anyway) is being stored in a building about the size of Yankee stadium. There is no rain because apparently there is also no such thing as evaporation (although plenty of the cast are sweating throughout the film). All animals except a few birds and a couple of attack dogs are dead (or hiding really well ^_^). All plant life is dead and gone which means two things, No salad, and oxygen must be supplied by planet Druidia! My favorite scene in the whole movie is when "Rabbit" dare I say the only back person left alive on the planet, does a very non-offensive Harlem Globe Trotters routine with the "Sphere of Longiness". You will enjoy this movie if you want some chuckles, please watch it and, "Enjoy a decent life grid!" (That line cracks me up!)
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10/10
Fantastic film
mycamstudio28 January 2007
I remember watching this when it appeared on television. I thought it was fabulous. At the moment I only have a recording on VHS, but would buy this film on DVD once a decision has been made to release it in the UK. The storyline is impossible (how can you store water of a vast amount as seen in the film?), but I love it all the same. For its time the settings and effects are amazing. I remember fantasising that I was Daniel who had found Bodahi and watched the film more through his eyes. Though I suppose this would be the same with anyone else?

An interest I found in this film is that Jami Gertz and Jason Patric work so well together as a couple that they appear together in 'The Lost Boys'.
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10/10
Good Good Good Movie
destinys_mom720 May 2006
This is a Good one! I remember this movie from when I was a kid. Running across this movie brings back good memories. My dad recorded it on VHS and I would watch it over and over. Then being a single child I would put on my skates, go outside and pretend I was a Solarbabie. My back yard was the perfect terrain. I even used one of those balls you buy from the grocery store as Boedi.

I love this movie. It may have a few holes in the plot, but it's a fictional movie. If you use your imagination, and not let reason get in the way of enjoying a good movie. Than this is the movie for you.

Now all I have to do is purchase a copy on DVD so I can watch it again.
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1/10
Solarbabies is difficult to watch.
watchtiger113 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is about children raised in a prison type orphanage after a post-apocalyptic earth.

The children are supposed to be teenagers, but the only one close is the character played by Lucas Hass who was 10 years old when this movie was released. The rest are in their early to mid twenties and it shows they are older.

The acting is bad and not believable, it is difficult to like this movie. They have a pet owl, and it is unfortunately shot by one of the villain's henchmen, the group decides it should be buried but for some reason don't know why they have this feeling. I know it's based on the script but the actors should have complained.

Someone said people would walk out of Star Wars (IV A New Hope)if they saw it in the theaters today. I disagree, at least Star Wars had a good story and is/was watchable even today. Solarbabies filming looks dated and old, while Star Wars IV remains fresh. I saw it when it first came out in 1977 and went to it any chance I got, I was 8 years old at the time. As VCRS were many years away at that time.

Do not wast your time with this movie, it is difficult to enjoy.
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4/10
cheap production, good enough for a spare evening
andre-7129 March 2000
This movie has most obviously been made on a very tight budget. It becomes obvious by the fact that the big bad government's military is represented by a surprisingly small number of units including two tanks and eight soldiers only. Thus, it needs a little imagination to believe the story of a few kids fighting a huge Nazi-like system. Furthermore, most costumes seem to be recycled from other movies. Uniforms quite similar to those used by the bad guys have been seen in "Dune" and "Battlestar Galactica" before. So, I felt it to be a little hard to get myself into the right mood for letting my mind go.

Nonetheless, the film has a message to tell, and even though that message has been around quite a few times, I found it worthwhile watching.
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8/10
Eighties SciFi Very Interesting
mficsgirl26 October 2006
I saw this movie when I was very young. When I was little it was very cool. For it's time I believe that it was advanced. Bodie was the best part. At the time I didn't understand that the ball was, but then after watching again recently, I realized it was an alien of some kind. My favorite part of the whole movie is when they are rescued in the middle of the desert and are taken to a paradise of some sort. It was so beautiful and the ending was much deserved for the story line! Definitely more enjoyable when I was little, but give it a chance. There are a lot of movies out there that I saw when I was little and when I watched them when i got older, I realized they were very childish, but still entertaining!
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